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The Event Planner’s Guide to Washington, D.C. Venues

Kaitlyn Tatulli |

Washington, D.C. MonumentAlthough Washington D.C. is known for having some of the most recognizable monuments in the world, D.C. is also internationally known as a premier event destination. In D.C., your event will become a part of history. You can host your next event in one of the many unique meeting and event venues, like the National Air and Space Museum or the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Hosting an event in D.C. also allows your attendees to experience over 17 entry-free, historical landmarks, diverse culture, 5-star hotels, and world-class dining. With history and culture on your side, why wouldn’t you want to host your next event in D.C.? Let your attendees experience the “DC difference”. Trust us - D.C. will give every attendee something to remember.

Top 10 Washington D.C. Venues Planners Should Consider

1. Washington National Cathedral

One of D.C.’s highest buildings, the Washington National Cathedral is an operating Episcopal church and event space. The cathedral offers four scenic meeting and event spaces: The Nave (1,000-2,000 guests), Bethlehem Chapel (120-200 guests), Pilgrim Observation Gallery (120 guests), and the Charles A. Perry Auditorium (180 guests). The stained-glass windows, unique carvings and sculptures will wow your attendees and make for a memorable event. 

Washington National Cathedral Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: Washington National Cathedral

2. District Winery

As the first commercial winery in D.C., District Winery specializes in meetings, corporate events, holiday parties, weddings, and fundraiser events. The Winery has six private event rooms that hold 40-450 people, including an outdoor terrace. Your guests will enjoy wine made onsite, as well as views of the Anacostia River. 

District Winery Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: Washington District Winery

3.National Park

Have you ever wanted to host an event in a baseball dugout? How about on a baseball field? The Nationals Park baseball stadium allows you to host 40 to 40,000 guests in exclusive spaces. Open year-round, you can host your event on the field, in dugouts, in the outdoor and indoor clubhouse, or in the park’s conference center. With 14 indoor spaces and eight outdoor spaces to choose from, you are sure to find a space for your event here. 

Washington Nationals Park Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: Washington Nationals Park

4. Marriott Marquis

Located in downtown D.C., the Marriott Marquis is D.C.’s largest hotel and is the only hotel that connects to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, consequently the hotel is a favorite of planners. The hotel features 105,474 sq. ft of meeting and event space and 80 dedicated meeting and event rooms. The hotel also offers 1,175 guest rooms, five on-site restaurants, and shopping. With panoramic views of downtown D.C., high-tech meeting and event amenities, and sophisticated service, the Marriott Marquis will not disappoint you attendees.  

Marriot Marquis Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: Marriott Marquis 

5. National Air and Space Museum 

Houser of the original Wright Flyer, a touchable lunar rock, and the Mercury Friendship 7 space capsule, the National Air and Space Museum is not only a museum but an event space. The museum accommodates large scale events up to 4,000 people and features six meeting rooms: America by Air (250 people), Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall (400 people), Space Race (400 people), Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery (230 people), Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater (485 people), and other galleries. Your event will sure to be out of this world. 

National Air and Space Museum Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: National Air and Space Museum

6. Hay-Adams 

With views of the White House, St. John’s Church, and Lafayette Park, the Hay-Adams hotel is an ideal location for your next D.C. event. The luxury hotel features four meeting spaces: the Hay Adams Room (35-175 people), Concorde Room (24-65 people), Windsor Room (18-40 people), and the Private Dining Room (30-50 people). The hotel also features a 3,200 sq. ft rooftop bar, Top of The Hay, that overlooks D.C.’s cityscape. Whether you are hosting a corporate presentation, holiday party, or retreat, the Hay-Adams will make your event one of sophistication. 

The Hay-Adams Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: Hay-Adams 

7. The Mansion on O Street

Rated one of the top five most historic venues to explore in the world by the Smithsonian, the Mansion on O Street is a haven for meetings, events, CEO’s, and politicians. The Mansion on O Street prides itself on creating unique, creative environments for meetings and events. The Mansion features 12 conference rooms, large meeting galleries, ballrooms, and other unique spaces, which can hold up to 650 people. The hotel also offers over 100 rooms for guests to stay in and 70 secret doors for guests to explore. It’s wonder why the Mansion on O Street was rated number one for meeting and events in the world.  

The Mansion on O Street Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: The Mansion on O Street

8. 20 F Street, NW Conference Center 

The 20 F Street, NW Conference Center is located on Capitol Hill within walking distances of 17 restaurants, 13 museums and memorials, and 5 hotels. The conference center offers six meeting spaces: the Boardroom (24 people); Videoconference room (18 people); Conference Center A or B, which includes the Schoolroom (34-48 people), Theater (80-100 people), Reception (100-120 people), Banquet (40-48 people) and Hollow square (36-44 people); Lobby and Lounge Area (220 people; and the tented Roof Terrace South (100-220 people). With the terrace views of the Washington Monument and the Capitol Dome, your guests are sure to remember your event at the 20 F Street, NW Conference Center for a lifetime. 

20 F Street, NW Conference Center Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: 20 F Street, NW Conference Center

9. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

Constructed by Arthur Brown Jr. between 1932-1934, the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium sits on Constitution Avenue, located two blocks from the President’s Park. Because of its historic nature, Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium has a 1,000-guest limit. The venue features six venue spaces for meetings or events: the Lobby (250 guests), Great Hall (400-1,000 guests), Center Green Room (100-250 guests), East Green Room (20-40 guests), West Green Room (20-50 guests), Third Floor (200 guests). Due to its history, beautiful architecture, and location, you can understand why Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium is one of D.C.’s most sought-after venues

Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

10. Smithsonian American Art Museum

Are you looking for a venue that dazzles? Then D.C.’s Smithsonian American Art Museum is for you. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has two locations, the SAAM and Renwick. The SAAM, located in downtown D.C., has five event spaces: the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard (850-1,200 people), The Luce Foundation Center for American Art (300-800 people), the Great Hall (300-366 people), the Portico (40-50 people), and the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium (seated 346). The other location, the Renwick Event Space, features 4,000 sq. ft of meeting and event space. No matter what type of event you are hosting, the Smithsonian American Art Museum promises to deliver a dazzling and elegant event for your guests. 


Smithsonian American Art Museum Venue - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: SAAM - Smithsonian American Art Museum


Top 3 Things to Do in Washington D.C.

1. Tours

The Washington Monument and the White House Tour: On this free tour, you can ride the Washington monument’s glass elevators to reach the top observation deck where you will enjoy 360-degree views of D.C. After this, you can visit the White House and tour the State floor, East Room, Green Room, and the Blue Room Free. Pro Tip:  The self-guided tours take place from 7:30 AM-11:30 AM Tuesday-Thursday and 7:30 AM-1:30 PM from Friday-Saturday. Try to arrive 15 minutes before opening time to avoid the security line. 

White House Tours - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: The White House 

Lincoln Memorial: Rated the #1 thing to do in D.C. by U.S. Travel News, the Lincoln Memorial is another must-see monument in D.C., this free memorial can be visited 24 hours a day. In addition to the larger than life statue of Lincoln, the monument features President Lincoln’s two famous speeches: the second inaugural address, and the Gettysburg Address, which are carved into the walls surrounding the statue. 

The Lincoln Memorial - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: National Park Service: The Lincoln Memorial 

2. Museums

National Archives Museum: Opened daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, the National Archives Museum is the perfect museum for history buffs. At the National Archives Museum, you’ll be able to see the original United States founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Pro Tip: Although museum tickets are free, due to the museum’s popularity there can be long lines. To guarantee entrance, you can reserve your ticket online for $1.50. 

National Archives Museum - Washington, D.C.Photo Credit: National Archives Museum 

3. Gardens

The Tidal BasinLocated in the West Potomac Park, the Tidal Basin is a free park, opened 24/7. The park is surrounded by many memorials, such as the Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the FDR memorials. The Tidal Basin also features a 2-mile-long pond. If you go after March 15th, you can rent paddle boards and paddle across the pond, while taking in the surrounding memorials. Pro Tip: The best time to visit the Tidal Basin is early spring so you can see the cherry blossom trees bloom.

Tidal Basin - Washington, DCPhoto Credit: National Park Service: The Tidal Basin

 Have you ever hosted an event in one of these D.C. venues? How did it go? What was your favorite thing to do inside or outside D.C.? Let us know by commenting below!

Interested in the other top U.S. cities and venues for meeting and event professionals? Download our free guide to see them all!

The Top 100 Meeting and Event Venues in the United States

This Post was Written by Kaitlyn Tatulli

Kaitlyn Tatulli is a graduate from Fairfield University with majors in Digital Journalism and Psychology and minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Computer Science. Currently, she is receiving her MFA from Fairfield University. Kaitlyn...

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